The third round of the RBS Six Nations Championship sees Wales fight against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. France will be looking for revenge after Rob Howley’s men secured a win at Stade de France last season. France edged out the Welsh in the World Cup a couple of years ago but Wales did exact swift revenge with a 16-9 Six Nations win at the Millennium Stadium in 2011 before winning at Stade de France last year. Wales will create rugby history if they win for the third season in a row as the head coach Warren Gatland is back at the helm. Gatland said, “We have got the three games at home and two tough away games but when we won the Grand Slam in 2008 and 2012 we had these fixtures so we know it can be done.” His team will round off their campaign in March away to England and then against Scotland in Cardiff after 21 February’s Friday night match.
2014 Wales vs Les Bleus Preview DATE, KICK OFF, VENUE
Date: Saturday 21st February
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT (UTC+0)
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Players to watch:
For Wales Ruby Team:
After two successive Six Nations titles and a 2011 World Cup semi-final appearance Wales rugby team is currently reknowned as the northern hemisphere’s best team. Sam Warburton continues as captain and Roberts has given Wales a boost. In addition, Jenkins, Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones are three Lions of front-row players in the squad along with Ken Owen, Emyr Phillips, Paul James Rhodri Jones, Samson Lee, and Ryan Bevington. But unfortunately Wales will be without Lions centre Jonathan Davies because of a shoulder injury.
For France Ruby Team:
Maxime Medard, Wesley Fofana, Gael Fickou, Thierry Dusautoir and Louis Picamoles should be good enough to take France Rugby team a very long glorious way in this year’s Six Nations tournament. This team requires a second glance at last season’s final Six Nations table.
Head to Head:
Both team played 91 matches with each other which is not a small number. France’s largest win against Wales was at 51 – 0. 47.25% of those 91 matches won by France team where as wales stood forward with their winning percentage of 49.45%.
9 February 2013: Wales won at Stade de France by 6 – 16
17 March 2012: Wales won at Millennium Stadium by 16 – 9
19 March 2011: France won at Stade de France by 28 – 9
26 February 2010: France won at Millennium Stadium by 20 – 26
27 February 2009: France won at Stade de France by 21 – 16
15 March 2008: Wales won at Millennium Stadium by 29 – 12
24 February 2007: France won at Stade de France by 32 – 21
18 March 2006: France won at Millennium Stadium by 16 – 21
26 February 2005: Wales won at Stade de France by 18 – 24
7 March 2004: France won at Millennium Stadium by 22 – 29
29 March 2003: France won at Stade de France by 33 – 5
16 February 2002: France won at Millennium Stadium by 33 – 37
17 March 2001: Wales won at Stade de France by 35 – 43
5 February 2000: France won at Millennium Stadium by 3 – 36
Wales Elite Player Squad:
Forwards: Paul James (Bath), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton Capt (Cardiff Blues), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets)
Backs: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets).
France Elite Player Squad:
Forwards: Thomas Domingo (Clermont). Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing Metro), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais), Sebasien Vahaamahina (Perpignan), Thierry Dusautoir (Captain; Toulouse), Bernard Le Roux (Racing Metro), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse).
Backs: Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing Metro), Jules Plisson (Stade Francais), Remi Tales (Castres), Methieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Gael Fickou (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Sofiane Guitone (Perpignan), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Geoffrey Palis (Castres), Hugo Bonneval (Stade Francais), Brice Dulin (Castres).